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National Trivia Day Challenges

Expressions-16.jpgCelebrate National Trivia Day on January 4th with jokes and riddles. 

Higher level thinking skills can be developed through exposure to jokes and riddles. If you haven’t considered them as a teaching tool, you may want to start if your students meet the following criteria.

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National Science Fiction Day

Screen Shot 2016-12-29 at 2.34.11 PM.pngNational Science Fiction Day is celebrated each year on the 2nd day of January by science fiction fans in the United States. National Science Fiction Day, an “unofficial” holiday as it corresponds with the birth date of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. It has been shown that science fiction is a popular topic amongst children. Subsequently, on science fiction day teachers can encourage students to watch some classic fiction movies, T.V. shows, or begin to read a science fiction novel. Upon further exploration, encourage students to visit the Museum of Science Fiction website located at: http://www.museumofsciencefiction.org/welcome/

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Using Novels to Engage

nrm3.jpgThere are a variety of ways to teach literacy skills. You may have tried every one of them or stuck to a proven method. There is no certain way to teach literacy. Students benefit from our varied teaching styles since we are individuals just like them. For my classroom, I love using novels to teach literacy. I am a self-confessed bookworm, so being able to teach using a novel is a delightful addition to my teaching. There are so many ways that you can incorporate literacy and differentiation into teaching novels. You just have to use your imagination!

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Formative Assessments

Laptop Work-3.jpgPart of a teacher’s responsibilities are assessing student learning. This can occur before instruction, during instruction, and as the finale to instruction. Formative assessment focuses on the DURING instruction part. Formative assessment allows you to determine a student’s understanding of content and adjust as needed. If their understanding is on point, you may continue with current plans or even give higher level critical thinking activities. If some students are struggling, this is an opportunity to determine their weak areas and address it NOW rather than having to reteach. For me, formative assessments focus on choice and learning style. Summative assessments (the finale!) tend to be similar to standardized testing. Some students will always experience test anxiety and it may not always be a correct reflection of their ability or knowledge. For this reason, formative assessments should vary.  It should take into account a student’s strengths and interest. Examples of formative assessments are:

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ESSA Increases Education Technology Funding

Screen Shot 2016-11-25 at 9.23.49 AM.pngA new competitive grant program within the Every Student Succeeds Act, ESSA, will fund the development and research of evidence-based innovative technology approaches to student learning. These grants are an additional resource made available to schools. This is an opportunity to begin or expand a grant program in addition to the general availability of new funds in the marketplace.

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